Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Lafayette Monument, Washington.
  • William Henry Jackson, artist
    1843–1942
    born: Keesville, New York, United States ; died: New York, New York, United States
    Detroit Photographic Company, publisher
    active 1897–1924
  • Lafayette Monument, Washington., 1898
  • Where object was made: Washington, DC, United States
  • photochrom
  • Object Height/Width: 17.39 x 22.69 cm
    Object Height/Width: 6 7/8 x 8 15/16 in
  • Gift of David J. and Rita Sloan Gottlieb
  • Not on display
  • 2012.0364
Description

Image of bronze and marble sculpture produced in 1890 by Jean Alexandre Joseph Falguiere, Marius Jean Antonin Mercie and Maurice de Nonvilliers as it appears in Lafayette Square in Washington, DC. The peak of the sculpture features a standing portrait of Lafayette as he speaks to the French National Assembly in an effort to get assistance for the Americans and their fight for independence. He is not dressed in a military uniform, but rather in a long coat, vest, boots, and wig. He carries a cape over his proper left arm and his proper left hand rests on a sword. He reaches out with his proper right arm as he takes a step forward with his proper left leg. The sculpture rests atop a square tiered base adorned with bronze figures on all four sides.
On the front the base there is the symbol of America, a bare-breasted female figure seated, but turned to reach up to the statue of Lafayette to offer him a sword she holds with her proper right hand. On the right side of the base are the figures of Comte d'Estaing and Comte de Grasse (only partially visible), commanders of the French naval forces sent to help the U.S. at Lafayette's request. A symbolic anchor rests at the foot of d'Estaing. Both figures are dressed in their military uniforms and stand side by side involved in a discussion. On the left side of the base are the figures of Comte de Rochambeau and the Chevalier du Portail (also only partially visible), commanders of the French army forces sent to help the U.S. at Lafayette's request. A symbolic cannon rests at their feet. Both are dressed in military uniforms and are walking side by side.